is an image of the 3rd Battalion's "C" Company
- whose area presumably included Meir - photographed in
the grounds of the church at Box Lane, Meir. Permission
to publish here has been generously granted by Mr. David
Frost whose father appears in it.
Image © David Frost, 2007
Click anywhere on the above image to see a Higher
Individuals so far identified are:
Front row: 2nd from right is Dennis
Ridge, 3rd from right is Frank
(At this time Frank lived in Eversley Road, Normacot and
was about 17 years old.)
image also appears, with other Staffordshire HG pictures,
on the excellent Staffordshire Past Track website - there
is a link to those available here).
Leslie Jones (right)
was not a member of the Home Guard. He was a scion of
the family firm of A.B. Jones & Sons in Longton, makers
of Grafton, later Royal Grafton, china which existed from
1900 until 1972. The family, like others in the business
world of the Potteries, had family and other social links
with many other potters and allied trades: the Aynsleys,
the Plants (Tuscan China), the Johnsons, the Rowleys and
the Shelleys. But Pilot Officer - and later Flight Lieutenant
- Jones was by 1940 even more fully involved in the war
effort than his Home Guard contemporaries since he was
a pilot instructor based at RAF Halfpenny Green (originally
known as Bobbington and located between Bridgnorth and
Nevertheless his interest in and contribution
to the local Home Guard unit was significant: he took
it upon himself during periods of leave to instruct its
members, probably including some of those pictured above,
in the finer arts of shooting. The firearm used was his
personal .22 pump action rifle; the venue, the premises
of the family firm. As well as shooting outside, Pilot
Officer Jones, or "Mr. Leslie" as he was known
within the business, set up an indoor range - in the "finished"
warehouse where the china was finally picked to fulfil
customers' orders. No doubt that area of the factory,
at least in the early part of the war, would still have
been crammed with the fragile, high quality products on
which the Company's reputation was built.
History does not record the extent of
regrettable "accidents" resulting from riccochets
as the Home Guard honed its skills; nor what the reaction
to such unconventional arrangements might have been from
some earlier members of the family such as Mr Leslie's
grandfather (right), last Mayor of Longton before
the office of Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent was established.
21st century collectors of Royal Grafton will simply visualise
the scene and wince.
We are indebted to Leslie Jones's son,
Mr. Robert Jones, for the above information about his
father and permission to publish the family photographs
(both of which are
© Robert Jones 2007).
Similarly to David Woollam of Shropshire (great-nephew of Lt.-Col.
Brown and grandson of Lt.-Col. Shelley) for the information
on this page concerning his grandfather and his
permission for its publication. (Images
of V.B. Shelley ©
David Woollam 2008/2016)
For other information about this Battalion please see
the Meir page. And an attractive memento which bears the name of the Battalion's C.O., Lt.-Col. V.B. Shelley, is shown on this page.